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The William Rogers Award

The Brown Alumni Association established the William Rogers Award in 1984 to recognize an outstanding alumna or alumnus whose service to society in general is representative of the words of the Brown Charter: living a life “of usefulness and reputation.” It recognizes important contributions to humankind made by Brown alumni anywhere in the world.

The award is named for the first Brown University student and therefore its first graduate, William Rogers, who enrolled in 1765. Rogers was the only student attending the new college for the first nine months, and when he graduated with six other men in 1769, he gave the first Commencement oration. In 1790 Rogers became president of oratory and belles-lettres at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held until 1811. He served as vice president of the Society for Gradual Abolition of Slavery, and in 1797 he was vice president of the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons. He died on April 7, 1824.

Nominate a recipient for 2017

2016 Recipient:

Previous Award Recipients:

(Click on any name in red for more information on the recipient.)

  • Aaron T. Beck ’42, P ’74, GP ’00 ’02, founder of cognitive therapy
  • Seth Berkley ’78, ’81 MD, founder of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
  • Thomas G. Catena '86, medical director, Mother of Mercy Hospital, Sudan
  • Edwidge Danticat ’93 MFA, award-winning author
  • George M. C. Fisher ’64 ScM, ’66 PhD, P ’88 ’92, president, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer, Eastman Kodak Company
  • Kathryn Scott Fuller ’68, P ’06, president, World Wildlife Fund and the Conservation Foundation
  • James B. Garvin ’78, ’81 ScM, ’84 PhD, chief scientist for NASA’s Mars and Lunar Exploration Programs
  • David R. Gockley ’65, general director, Houston Grand Opera
  • Hermes C. Grillo ’44, P ’87, chief of general thoracic surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Hill Harper ’88, film, television, and stage actor; author; philanthropist
  • Richard C. Holbrooke ’62, permanent U.S. representative to the United Nations
  • Jim Yong Kim ’82, chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School
  • Irving R. Levine ’44, NBC News chief economics correspondent
  • Byron K. Lichtenberg ’69, astronaut, pilot, and engineer
  • Lois Hammersberg Lowry ’58, award winning children’s author and illustrator
  • Kurt M. Luedtke ’61, Pulitzer Prize and Oscar winner
  • Linda Mason ’64, P ’01, vice president, public affairs, CBS News
  • Zachary P. Morfogen ’50, P ’87, founding chairman emeritus, National Hospice Foundation and the National Hospice Organization
  • Samuel M. Nabrit ’28 ScM, ’32 PhD, educator and developmental biologist
  • Frank Newman ’47, former president, Education Commission of the States
  • Nawal M. Nour ’88, founder and director of the African Women’s Health Practice of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
  • Joseph V. Paterno ’50, professor and head football coach, Pennsylvania State University
  • Thomas E. Pérez ’83, assistant attorney general for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Barbara J. Reisman ’71, ’06 MD, P ’02 ’05, executive director, Child Care Action Campaign
  • William R. Rhodes ’57, P ’98, senior vice chairman, Citibank
  • Kenneth T. Roth ’77, P’12, Executive director of Human Rights Watch, the largest human rights organization in the U.S.
  • Malika Saada Saar ’92, founder and executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights
  • William H. Twaddell ’63, U.S. ambassador to Nigeria
  • Diana E. Wells ’88, president of Ashoka
  • Augustus A. White III ’57, distinguished surgeon
  • Gerard B. White ’86, co-founder, Landmine Survivors Network